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Acorns: Spring planting

11 Mar

We removed dozens of trees @ Owl Creek in 2019…Some had been dead for a long time…  Some were volunteers too close to driveways or barn…Some were contortions of trees…bent, split, broken.  Several logging projects in the past 50 years harvested hard woods…walnut, maple and oak trees.  Our understanding is that oak seedlings are difficult to locate.

 

To get 2020 spring plants off to a bigger start, I gathered acorns from the backyard.  Mostly green, squirrels had not run off with them.

“How to Grow Oak Trees from Acorns” Shelly Wigglesworth Oct 16, 2018, published in New England Today, Living

How to Grow Oak Trees from Acorns

I like the idea of refrigerating with peat and barley in a sealed container over winter.

Shelly recommended discarding acorns with pin holes.  They are made by “inch” worms exiting the hull.  I believe the worms enter under the cap.  After checking closely and drying  about two weeks, I discarded 20 acorns of the 60+ I had gathered from our backyard.

Here we “grow” again…today March 11, 2020…

Responding to the loss oak seedlings ruined by squirrels going for the meat of the acorn…I have turn the table!  Using a small cage to keep wild life out and protect future tree…rather than keep animals IN.  45 acorns in peat pots.

Hmmmm…what yield will we have?

 

 

Makes cents!

18 Nov

“Regenerative agriculture claims that the solution doesn’t lie in new technology or mass machinery. It may be right in front of us: livestock.”

Check out this article from the Huffington Post:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/meat-save-planet-regenerative-farming_l_5d261f7ae4b0583e482b0192?guccounter=1

 

Check out this article from Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group:

https://www.ssawg.org/ssawg-blawg/2019/8/15/the-impossible-pasture

“We have this huge planetary food system enhanced by synthetic fertilizers and chemicals, but there are ways to balance that out now, and that’s through raising animals in balance with the ecosystem’s restoration. Nothing else can do what a cow or sheep or buffalo can do.”

– Jack Algiere, farm director at Stone Barns for Food and Agriculture

 

 

This corner of the yard

15 Aug

has been reserved for compost of tree, shrub and yard debris for years.  The black compost bin in the background hasn’t stayed together even with a “zip tie” fix.  Time to shop!

Found on Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0085O6NXQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The cylinder in the foreground has an open bottom.  It was unrolled and secured with three plastic pieces that work like a key and lock inserted in slots.  The size is adjustable.  It is possible to expand the circumference an additional two feet.  Also, I could go smaller.

Last summer between kitchen, garden and yard waste, we yielded about 200 pounds of compost which we used at our remote garden site (future post).  We are on track with another 200 pounds…Eight  repurposed  cat  litter  buckets  filled (20 pounds each).  Two  more  to  go!

Book Review: The History of Bees, A Novel

2 Jul

My interest in bee keeping is shown on the Beehaven@OwlCreek tab above.

I struggled with this book.  I also appreciate the story.  Well over half way thru the book, I felt that I was reading multiple Twitter feeds.  Some characters lived in the 1800s, some in the present and some in the future.  The author does bring it together in the end.  If I had first read the Reading Group Guide on page 340 of my digital version, I would not have been so frustrated.

The contents include valuable information about commercial hives and the highly productive, delicate life cycle of bees.

First you hear them, then you see them

14 Mar

Sandhill cranes 2019 spring migration.

Check out this video:

Sandhill cranes fly in a “V” formation at a fairly high altitude.  The image is faint as they move from right to left across the screen.

We have been lucky to be outdoors in the early afternoon frequently this spring.  It appears to be the best time to see them in flight…over a half dozen times (central Indiana).

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Sandhill_Crane/sounds  (There are 3 audio clips.)

View one of Indiana’s greatest wildlife spectacles at Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area. Each fall, thousands of Sandhill Cranes visit the area’s shallow marshes.

I was introduced to sandhill cranes 20 years ago at the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area.  They feed and stay overnight during their migration.  Large groups are VERY loud and not a pleasant chorus.  However, it is VERY impressive and you remember their chatter.  I love spotting them on the move.  You hear them first!

Dirty job: composting

27 Jun
Yard compost bin

Yard

Kitchen compost bin

Kitchen

 

Compost bins

 

 

 

 

 

Composting is both a dirty job and “Black gold” to enrich vegetable garden….this season’s yield…200 pounds!

For eighteen years, I have used a three step process to mitigate the slime and smell of kitchen waste.  This year I added a fourth step.

  1. Compost kitchen and garden waste (very slimy and smelly)
  2. Compost yard waste (primarily trimmings of perennial flowers).
  3. Add kitchen compost to yard waste = black gold
  4. Top off with ashes from fire pit for enrichment

All gardening starts with dirt.  Yes, it is less expensive and messy to buy compost by the bag at garden centers.  Homemade is better.

What a relief!

16 May

definition

in relief:  1 Art carved, molded, or stamped so as to stand out from the surface.

Found solid black due to tarnish.  No indication for type of base metal.

Leonardo DaVinci’s “Last Supper” cast in copper, 10″X5.25″ with stand for table (not for wall mounting).  From:  Charles Frazee estate.

 

noun:  1 a feeling of reassurance and relaxation following release from anxiety or distress:

https://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Copper

Check out How to Clean Copper method No. 6

Ketchup

Quiz: Name the Artifacts

7 Mar

From the personal property of Charles Frazee:

 

Top:  Calipers…Still come in handy for measuring inside and outside diameters as well as threads

Left:  Compasses…for drawing circles

Right:  0-1″ Micrometers…particularly helpful for mechanical repair work

Bottom:  Slide rule…what we used before digital calculators (right up to the late 1970s)

Both calipers and micrometers were redesigned 20 years ago to have digital read outs as shown above.

 

 

Mandy’s tapestry of the life and love of her family

26 Sep

Tapestry of the life and love of her family

Amanda Emmaline Hall, mother of 14

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Murrel is Mandy’s grandson and my dad.  Frank is Mandy’s grandson and my uncle.  Jimmy is Mandy’s grandson and my uncle who died as a child….

Crazy Quilts explained at Indianapolis Museum of Art Exhibit October 2017

“Encouraged individual expression through freeform stitching,

known as the Kensington stitch”

“takes inspiration from the natural world”

Made with love by Great Grandmother Hall

 

From Houzz: Incredible home design from Japan

10 May

Amazing solutions to constraints!